Stem cell secretions boost one’s immune system which can obviously help combat cancer, but there is insufficient evidence to suggest they can be used to directly treat the disease. As an alternative, or supplement, to conventional cancer therapy, we often recommend the use of dendritic cells, a sub-type of white blood cell which can be grown from cells extracted from your blood.
Dendritic cells are not involved directly in killing cancer cells. Instead they identify the target cells and present this information to natural killer cells and instruct them to attack. Activation of the dendritic cells in the laboratory and introduction of these mature dendritic cells into cancer-bearing bodies has proved an effective method of fighting cancer.
WHEN CAN DENDRITIC CELLS BE USED TO FIGHT CANCER?
According to the American Cancer Society, of the various types of cancer immunotherapy vaccines, dendritic cell mediated treatment “has shown the most success so far in treating cancer”.
Its effectiveness has been demonstrated in multiple cases, and it has been able to do so at every stage in the battle against cancer:
1. Treatment with dendritic cells is a viable alternative to conventional approaches in early stage cancers where there is still some effective immune activity and there are fewer tumour cells to fight.
2. Dendritic cell mediated immunotherapy has been shown to be effective when used after debulking of the primary tumour by one or a combination of conventional methods such as surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, effectively cleaning up any remaining cancer cells.
3. Finally, dendritic cell therapy can provide one more option in advanced cancer cases where all other approaches have failed.
DENDRITIC CELLS: THE THERAPY'S PRINCIPLE
Precursor cells that have
the potential to become
dendritic cells are isolated
from the blood by a special procedure.
Precursor cells are treated in the laboratory
The precursor cells mature into dendritic cells capable of instructing natural killer cells to attack cancer cells.
Destroying cancer cells sends messages to activate the whole immune system by signalling other resident
immune cells in the body.
These activated killer cells
enter the vascular system,
spread throughout the
whole body and destroy
dendritic cells travel to the lymph nodes and activate various types of killer cells.